Lincoln county was formed in 1768, from Mecklenburg county, and named Tryon, in honor of William Tryon, at that time the Royal Governor, but his oppressive administration, terminating with cold-blooded murders at the battle of Alamance in 1771, caused the General Assembly in 1779 to blot out his odious name and divide the territory into Lincoln and Rutherford counties. These names were imposed during the Revolution when both of the honored heroes were fighting the battles of their country.
Lincoln county, separated from Mecklenburg by the noble Catawba river, has a Revolutionary record of peculiar interest. In June, 1780, the battle of Ramsour’s Mill was fought, which greatly enlivened the Whigs, and, in a corresponding degree, weakened the Tory influence throughout the surrounding country. In January, 1781, Lord Cornwallis, with a large invading army, passed through the county and camped for three days on the Ramsour battle-ground. General O’Hara, one of his chief officers, camped at the “Reep place,” about two miles and a half west of Ramsour’s Mill. Tarleton, with his cavalry, crossed the South Fork, in “Cobb’s bottom,” and passed over the ridge on which Lincolnton now stands (before the place had a “local habitation and a name,”) in approaching his lordship’s headquarters. Although Lincoln county contained many who were misled through the artful influence of designing men, and fought on the “wrong side”, yet, within her borders were found a gallant band of unflinching patriots, both of German and Scotch-Irish descent, who acted nobly throughout the struggle for independence, and “made their mark” victoriously at Ramsour’s Mill, King’s Mountain, the Cowpens, and at other places in North and South Carolina.
Lincoln county, as Tryon, sent to the first popular Convention, which met at Newbern, on the 25th of August, 1774, Robert Alexander and David Jenkins. To Hillsboro, August 21st, 1775, John Walker, Robert Alexander, Joseph Hardin, William Graham, Frederick Hambright and William Alston. To Halifax, April 4th, 1776, James Johnston and Charles McLean. To the same place, November 12th, 1776, (which body formed the first State Constitution,) Joseph Hardin, William Graham, Robert Abernathy, William Alston and John Barber. Several of these names will be noticed in the subsequent sketches.
- Battle of Ramsour’s Mill
- Incidents of the Battle
- British Army’s March through Lincoln County
- Leather Memorandum Pocket Book